My research, part of which has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, thrives at the intersection between literary, medical and scientific discourse, includes various visual and textual media, cultural contexts and languages, and is intended to inform cultural thinking about health and disease.
I am particularly interested in the question as to what cultural concepts and ideas lead laboratory and clinical researchers to study health and disease within specific paradigms. In what ways does culture frame the questions asked by leading researchers in Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive health and aging?
More generally, my research is driven by the hope to improve mutual appreciation of medico-scientific and humanities approaches to illness, and to enhance productive science and arts conversations through literary study.
One motivation for my shift in research interests was the absence of the patient’s illness experience in the Pharmaceutical Sciences curriculum: I felt that the student was insufficiently prepared for patient contact in the pharmacy. As such, my explorations of patient and caregiver narratives are paralleled by efforts to relocate care for patients and caregivers to the centre of pharmacy as well as medical students’ attention in lectures, seminars and one-day courses. These efforts have been supported by funding bodies and are documented in peer-reviewed journals including the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.
I currently teach Communicating Science and develop discipline-crossing modules that explore the rhetoric of science and interrogate the public discourse about science, including Science in Context, at the University of Warwick.